Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A coverage

What Medicare Part A Covers

Medicare Part A also referred to as Hospital Insurance covers an inpatient hospital visit, skilled nursing facility stay, home health care and hospice care.

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers the following services:

  • Inpatient hospital visits
  • Inpatient visits at a skilled nursing facility
  • Hospice stays
  • Home health care

Medicare Part A Coverage Costs

You will not pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.

For those who are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, the cost in (2017) is up to $413 per month.

Signing up for Medicare Part A

If you are approaching age 65 and not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits you will need to sign up to receive Medicare Part A and/or Part B

You should contact Social Security three months before turning 65.

Here are circumstances where you automatically qualify for Medicare Part A:

  • If you already receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
  • If you are under 65 and have a disability
  • If you have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
  • If you live in Puerto Rico and receive benefits from Social Security or the RRB.

If you qualify to automatically receive Medicare you will receive a red, white and blue Medicare card in the mail three months before you turn 65.

Keep in mind that in most instances, if you do not sign up for Part A coverage and Part B when you are first eligible, you may be subject to a late enrollment penalty

Here are a few ways to sign up for Medicare Part A coverage:


Do I need Medicare Part A if I'm still working?

If you are still working at age 65 you should sign up for Medicare Part A. You may have health insurance through your current employer however signing up for Medicare Part A may help pay some of the costs that are not covered by your employer's health insurance.

Also, you will not have to pay the Medicare Part A monthly premium if you have worked and paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years.

Will I be enrolled in Medicare Part A automatically?

If you are receiving Social Security or RRB benefits at least 4 months before becoming eligible for Medicare then you will be automatically enrolled in both premium-free Part A and Medicare Part B.

Residences of Puerto Rico that are eligible for automatic enrollment are enrolled in premium-free Part A only.

Are there penalties for not enrolling in Medicare Part A?

Medicare will charge you a penalty if you do not enroll in the program when you are initially eligible.

Is a Medicare Advantage Plan right for you?